The ability to easily edit and add new content to your website is the most obvious reason to run your website on a content management system (CMS). But using a CMS can be tricky enough never mind trying to get it to look the way you want. What you need is a truly simple solution – enter WordPress.
WordPress is the leading blogging platform, but it can also function as a feature rich CMS right out of the box. With a little more work and a few plugins you can expand your WordPress installation into a pretty powerful CMS.
Step one: Get a working installation of WordPress set up. Most web hosting companies make it as simple as one click to setup WordPress on your domain.
Step two: Find a free theme that suits your needs. You can find themes at the WordPress theme directory or just search Google for “free WordPress themes” and you will have hundreds to choose from.
Step three: Make some small design changes to your new theme to make it your own. Insert your logo, tweak the colors, and of course modify the titles and description of your site.
Step four: Create WordPress pages to hold your website content. Fill these pages with your content just as you would with a traditional static web page. Don’t forget to include a contact page. There are many great free plugins that let you create a contact form with no programming knowledge.
Step five: Set WordPress to display a static page as your home page. This will make your website look like a normal site as opposed to a blog. You should create a page called “home” then set it to be the front page. This is easily accomplished by going into the settings panel and clicking on the “reading settings” option. Then where it says “Front page displays” select “A static page” and choose your home page from the “Front Page” drop-down menu.
That’s it – you now have a website that you can easily add pages to and edit content at any time. Of course you can also use it to keep your website fresh by blogging, and I encourage you to do so.
At some point you may find that your website has grown beyond the capabilities of WordPress. The good news is that there are many useful plugins already available to extend its functionality. Another great thing about WordPress – it will grow with you. New plugins are being developed all the time. If there is something you want to do with WordPress, chances are someone has already released a plugin.